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  • Home | Buraku Stories

    Welcome to Project: Buraku Stories Our Goal is to share information and news & to create a database that can be easily accessed All in relation to the buraku issue What is the buraku issue? The burakumin are a socially constructed and discriminated minority in Japan based on ostracised groups during the feudal class system of the Edo Period (1603-1867). Despite the abolishment of the class system, the buraku issue - the discrimination the burakumin face - still exists to this date You want to know more? Start Here Terminology related to the buraku issue Buraku Dictionary Everything you want to know about the buraku issue Buraku-pedia You want to read more? Here is a list of books and articles Buraku Literature Updates 08.11.2023: Created an instagram account/page in Japanese, see here 16.09.2023: Added a separate section on the home menu for the social media accounts (FB, X/Twitter, and Instagram), see below Follow us on our social media accounts for news and content! Also here! Contact Us Name Write a message Submit Thanks for submitting! This is so far an one-man project, so updates and edits might take some time. However, I would be happy for any advice or if you want to point something out in regard to design, grammar or something else. Also, if you think there are topics or content that should be added, please let me know. ​ Thank you very much! Or write us an email! burakustories@gmail.com

  • About | Buraku Stories

    Greetings My name is Niki and I am the owner and editor of Buraku Stories. I studied Japanese Studies and Chinese Studies in B.A. at the Heidelberg University from 2013 until 2018. During that time, I did an exchange year at the Tokyo Gakugei between 2015 and 2016. After finishing my Bachelors degree, I started my M.A. at the International Christian University and graduated in 2020 with a degree in Social and Cultural Analysis. I returned to Heidelberg in 2021 and started my PhD in Japanese Studies. How did I became interested in the buraku issue? Whilst studying Japanese history and literature in my B.A. I came in touch with the topic briefly. It was not until I went to Japan as an exchange student back in 2015 to 2016 that I became interested in the buraku issue. One of the classes during that year was about Japanese society (more specifically about the minorities in Japan) and when the lecture addressed the burakumin I got hooked immediately. ​ Being a minority myself (German-born Asian) I explained the racism and discrimination I faced simply because I was "different (ethnically, visually, etc.)" than my environment. Then, learning how the burakumin are discriminated against although "not different (ethnically or linguistically)" sparked my curiosity towards the buraku issue ever since. ​ On top of that, I was able to meet burakumin who were open about their background, researchers and professors related to the topic and had tours in buraku areas. The most significant factor for continuing my research on this topic and what kept my curiosity was Christopher Bondy who also was my adviser during my M.A. studies at the International Christian University. Why did I create Buraku Stories? This project started back in 2019, when during my M.A. research, I had the opportunities to talk to various burakumin about the issues they currently face. Coupled with the fact that the buraku issue in Japan is barely talked about and although the literature in English on this topic is increasing, it is still a small amount compared to other topics about Japanese Society, I thought to create something useful that might help the burakumin in one way, thus I made Buraku Stories. ​ The core of Buraku Stories is to make information about the buraku issue more accessible. By providing a database of literature, creating a dictionary of terms related to the topic and most importantly, making the information in English (and other languages) would ease the entry to the topic for those who are interested.

  • Translations | Buraku Stories

    Translations Report of the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies Japanese English German The Dōwa Laws​​ Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects (English here ) Special Measures Law for Regional Improvements (English here ) Law on Special Measures under the National Fund for specific projects of Regional Reform (English here )​ The Act for the Promotion of the Elimination of Buraku Discrimination (English here )​​​

  • Laws | Buraku Stories

    Laws related to the buraku issue Laws The supplementary provisions of all laws are omitted due to space issues. They will be added later and differently Special Measurements Law for Dōwa Projects 1969-1982 Special Measurements Law for Regional Improvements 1982-1987 Law on Special Measures under the National Fund for specific projects of Regional Reform 1987-2002 Act on the Promotion of the Elimination of Buraku Discrimination 2016 Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects 1969-1982 Article 1 (Goal) In accordance with the principles of the Constitution of Japan, which guarantees the fundamental human rights to all citizens, the purpose of this Law is to clarify the objectives of the measures conducted by the cooperation of State and local governments in areas where historical and social reasons prevented the stabilisation and improvement of living conditions (hereinafter referred to as ‘designated areas'), and to contribute to the cultivation of economic strength, the stabilisation of the living conditions of the residents and the improvement of their welfare, etc. in the designated areas, by taking special measures necessary to achieve these objectives. Article 2 (Dōwa Measures Projects) In this law “Dōwa Measures Projects” means projects realized that are listed under the Sixth Article Article 3 (Responsibility of the citizens) All citizens must understand the main purpose of the Dōwa measures projects, mutually respect basic human rights, and endeavour to cooperate in the smooth implementation of the dōwa measurements projects. Article 4 (Responsibilities of national and local government) The State and local governments shall endeavour to promote the implementation of Dōwa Measure Projects in a prompt and scheduled manner. Article 5 (Goal of the Dōwa Measures Projects) The goal of the Dōwa Measures Projects shall be the elimination of various factors that unfairly hinder the improvement of the social and economic status of the residents of the designated areas by improving their living environment, promoting social welfare, promoting industry, stabilising jobs, improving education, and strengthening human rights protection activities in the designated areas. Article 6 (National Policies) In order to achieve the goal of Article 1, the State shall take the necessary measurements comprehensively through policies with regard to every matter listed in the following ​ Measures to improve the living environment in the designated areas, including the arrangement of areas, improvement of housing conditions, and the development of public and living environment facilities. Measures such as the development of social welfare and public health facilities in order to improve and promote social welfare and public health in the designated areas. Measures to promote agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in the designated areas, including the introduction of facilities for the improvement and development of the production infrastructure of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries and for the modernisation of their management. Measures to promote small and medium-sized enterprises in the designated area, including rationalisation of the management, modernisation of equipment and improvement of technology. Measures to promote employment and job security for the residents of the designated areas, by enhancing vocational guidance and training, and promoting job introductions. Measures to improve school and social education for the residents of the designated areas, including the encouragement to higher education and the development of social education facilities. Measures to strengthen human rights protection activities for residents in the designated areas, such as improving human rights protection institutions, promoting, and uplifting human rights ideas, and promoting human rights counselling activities. Measures in addition to the measurements listed in the preceding paragraphs to achieve the goal set out in the preceding article Article 7 (Special Subsidies) The burden or assistance for the costs of the Dōwa Measures Projects which are borne or subsidised by the State, shall be calculated within the limits of the budget by a ratio of two-third, unless otherwise provided for in a Cabinet Order. ​ (2) In the case of the preceding paragraph, where a legal provision stipulates a proportion of the State's contribution or assistance that is less than two-third, the proportion shall be changed to two-thirds by a Cabinet Order. Article 8 (Policies of local governments) Local authorities shall endeavour to take the necessary measures in accordance with national policies. Article 9 (Municipal Bonds) Expenses required by local governments for the implementation of Dōwa Measures Projects may be financed by municipal bonds, even if such expenses do not fall under any of the items of Article 5(1) of the Local Finance Act (Act No. 109 of 1948). ​ (2) Municipal bonds issued to finance the expenses required by local governments for the implementation of Dōwa Measures Projects shall be fully financed by the State from the funds of the Trust Fund Bureau or from the reserve fund of the special account for postal pensions and postal life insurance, as far as the financial situation permits. Article 10 (Inclusion of principal and interest payments in the standard financial requirement) Expenses required for the redemption of principal and interest on municipal bonds designated by the Minister of Home Affairs to finance the expenses required by local governments for Dōwa Measures Projects shall be included in the amount of standard fiscal demand used in the calculation of the amount of local government grants tax to be granted to the said local governments, pursuant to the provisions of the Local Grants Tax Act (Act No. 211 of 1950). Article 11 (Cooperation with relevant government agencies, etc.) The heads of the administrative bodies concerned, and the heads of the local governments concerned shall cooperate with each other to ensure the smooth implementation of the Dōwa Measures Projects. BACK TO TOP Special Measures Law for Regional Improvements 1982-1987 Article 1 (Goal) In accordance with the principles of the Constitution of Japan, which guarantees the fundamental human rights to all citizens, the purpose of this Law shall is to contribute to the cultivation of economic strength, the stabilisation of the lives of residents and the improvement of welfare in areas where historical and social reasons prevented the stabilisation and improvement of living conditions (hereinafter referred to as "designated areas”) by taking special measures necessary for the smooth implementation of projects specified by Cabinet Order concerning the improvement of the living environment, industrial promotion, job security, education, enhancement of human rights protection activities, promotion of social welfare, etc. (hereinafter referred to as “Regional Improvement Projects”) in the designated areas. Article 2 (Promotion, etc. of Regional Improvement Projects) In order to achieve the goals of the preceding Article, the State and local governments shall cooperate and endeavour to promote Regional Improvement Projects in a prompt and comprehensive manner. ​ (2) In implementing Regional Improvement Projects, the State and local governments shall strive to ensure the unity of the designated and the surrounding area and to operate the projects in a fair manner. ​ (3) Citizens must understand the main purpose of the Regional Improvement Projects, mutually respect basic human rights and endeavour to cooperate in the smooth implementation of the Regional Improvement Projects. Article 3 (Special Subsidies) The burden or assistance for the costs of the Regional Improvement Projects which are borne or subsidised by the State, shall be calculated within the limits of the budget by a ratio of two-third, unless otherwise provided for in a Cabinet Order. ​ (2) In the case of the preceding paragraph, where a legal provision stipulates a proportion of the State's contribution or assistance that is less than two-third, the proportion shall be changed to two-thirds by a Cabinet Order. Article 4 (Municipal Bonds) Expenses required by local governments for the implementation of Regional Improvement Projects may be financed by municipal bonds, even if such expenses do not fall under any of the items of Article 5(1) of the Local Finance Act (Act No. 109 of 1948). ​ (2) Municipal bonds issued to finance the expenses required by local governments for the implementation of Regional Improvement Projects shall be fully financed by the State from the funds of the Trust Fund Bureau or from the reserve fund of the special account for postal pensions and postal life insurance, as far as the financial situation permits. Article 5 (Inclusion of principal and interest payments in the standard financial requirement) Expenses required for the redemption of principal and interest on municipal bonds designated by the Minister of Home Affairs to finance the expenses required by local governments for Dōwa Measures Projects shall be included in the amount of standard fiscal demand used in the calculation of the amount of local government grants tax to be granted to the said local governments, pursuant to the provisions of the Local Grants Tax Act (Act No. 211 of 1950). BACK TO TOP Law on Special Measures under the National Fund for specific projects of Regional Reform 1987-2002 Article 1 (Intention) This Law shall provide for special subsidies and other special financial measures of the State and local governments for the smooth and rapid implementation of specified projects for regional reform undertaken by the State and local governments. Article 2 (Specified Projects for Regional Reform) The term ‘Specified Projects for Regional Reform’ as used in this Law means projects relating to improvement of the living environment, promotion of industry, job security, enhancement of education, strengthening of human rights protection activities, promotion of social welfare, etc., which are deemed particularly necessary to be continued in the designated areas prescribed in Article 1 of the former Special Measures Law for Regional Improvements (hereinafter referred to as Old Regional Reform Law) where such projects were implemented and are specified in a Cabinet Order. ​ 2) The State and local governments shall cooperate to ensure the smooth and prompt implementation of specific projects for local improvement measures. Article 3 (Special Subsidies) The burden or assistance for the costs of the Specified Projects for Regional Reform which are borne or subsidised by the State, shall be calculated within the limits of the budget by a ratio of two-third, unless otherwise provided for in a Cabinet Order. 2) In the case of the preceding paragraph, where a legal provision stipulates a proportion of the State's contribution or assistance that is less than two-third, the proportion shall be changed to two-thirds by a Cabinet Order. Article 4 (Municipal Bonds) Expenses required by local governments for the implementation of Specified Projects for Regional Reform may be financed by municipal bonds, even if such expenses do not fall under any of the items of Article 5(1) of the Local Finance Act (Act No. 109 of 1948). ​ 2) Municipal bonds issued to finance the expenses required by local governments for the implementation of Specified Projects for Regional Reform shall be fully financed by the State from the funds of the Trust Fund Bureau or from the reserve fund of the special account for postal pensions and postal life insurance, as far as the financial situation permits. Article 5 (Inclusion of principal and interest payments in the standard financial requirement) Expenses required for the redemption of principal and interest on municipal bonds designated by the Minister of Home Affairs to finance the expenses required by local governments for Specified Projects for Regional Reform shall be included in the amount of standard fiscal demand used in the calculation of the amount of local government grants tax to be granted to the said local governments, pursuant to the provisions of the Local Grants Tax Act (Act No. 211 of 1950). BACK TO TOP The Act for the Promotion of the Elimination of Buraku Discrimination 2016 (English Translation provided by IMADR) Article 1 (Goal) In the light of the fact that Buraku discrimination still exists even today and that the situation of Buraku discrimination has been changed along with the increased use of information technologies, and given the importance of the challenge to eliminate Buraku discrimination on the basis of the recognition that such discrimination is not acceptable in line with the principles of the Constitution of Japan, which guarantees the enjoyment of fundamental human rights for all citizens, the present Act aims at promoting the elimination of Buraku discrimination, by establishing the basic principle and defining the responsibilities of the State and local governments in relation to the elimination of Buraku discrimination as well as by providing for the consolidation of advisory mechanisms and other measures, thereby realizing a society free from Buraku discrimination. Article 2 (Basic Principle) The measures concerning the elimination of Buraku discrimination shall be taken with a view to realizing a society free from Buraku discrimination, by seeking to improve the understanding of each and every citizen on the need to eliminate Buraku discrimination, in accordance with the principle that all citizens shall be respected as unique individuals who enjoy fundamental human rights on an equal basis. Article 3 (Responsibilities of State and local governments) 1) In accordance with the basic principle set out in the preceding Article, the State shall be responsible for taking measures concerning the elimination of Buraku discrimination as well as for providing necessary information, guidance and advice for the promotion of such measures by local governments. ​ 2) In accordance with the basic principle set out in the preceding Article, local governments shall seek to take measures, consistent with their local conditions, concerning the elimination of Buraku discrimination on the basis of appropriate division of roles with the State and in collaboration with the State and other local governments. Article 4 (Consolidation of advisory mechanisms) 1) The State shall take measures to consolidate mechanisms to respond to requests for advice and support concerning Buraku discrimination in appropriate ways. ​ 2) Local governments shall seek to take measures, consistent with their local conditions, to consolidate mechanisms to respond to requests for advice and support concerning Buraku discrimination in appropriate ways, on the basis of appropriate division of roles with the State. Article 5 (Education and awareness-raising) 1) The State shall conduct necessary education and awareness-raising in order to eliminate Buraku discrimination. 2) Local governments shall seek to conduct necessary education and awareness-raising, consistent with their local conditions, in order to eliminate Buraku discrimination, on the basis of appropriate division of roles with the State. Article 6 (Surveys on the actual situation of Buraku discrimination) With a view to contributing to the implementation of the measures concerning the elimination of Buraku discrimination, the State shall conduct surveys on the actual situation of Buraku discrimination in collaboration with local governments. BACK TO TOP

  • History | Buraku Stories

    History Table of Content Edo Period and the Class System Meiji Restauration and the Emancipation Edict Improvement Policies – Kaizen and Yūwa Rice Riots Yūwa and Kaihō The End of World War II - The Resurgence of the Buraku Movements The Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects 2016: The Act for the Promotion of the Elimination of the Buraku Discrimination Edo Period and the Class System The Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo-Period (1603-1868) divided the population into four classes or three sections: warrior class (bushi or shi ) farmer class (hyakushō or nō ) townspeople (chōnin ): artisans (kō ) and merchants (shō ) The ancestors of the burakumin are the classes that were not included in that system: the eta , hinin and other various classes. ​ eta : People whose occupation dealt with death or blood, including butcher or tanners. hinin : This group includes homeless people, prostitutes, or travelling entertainers and were also often given the job as policemen or guards for prisons. Careful! The term eta and hinin is a derogatory term and should only be used for the historical narrative. BACK TO TOP Meiji Restoration and the Emancipation Edict The Emancipation Edict (kaihō rei ) was enacted by the Meiji government in 1871 as part of the modernisation policies. As result, the feudal class system was abolished, and the classes were changed. The warrior class (bushi ) became families with samurai ancestry (shizoku ), the farmer class (hyakushō ) and townspeople (chōnin ) became commoners (heimin ). The outcaste groups eta , hinin , and others, all became new commoners (shin heimin ). The enactment meant that the outcastes groups were dissolved but the stigma towards them never disappeared, and the discrimination continued with the new established group new commoners. Furthermore, the modernization policies introduced the freedom to take any occupation. As a result, the eta lost the monopoly they had enjoyed during the feudal era on occupations such as butchers and tanners. Many of them ended up unemployed and were further marginalised. Careful! The term shin heimin is a derogatory term and should only be used for the historical narrative. BACK TO TOP Improvement Policies The Regional Improvement Movement (Kaizen Undō) was the earliest form of a policy aimed towards the outcaste groups. Mie prefecture was the first one to adopt it in 1905. Focusing on improving customs and the living standards of the new commoners, it failed to make substantial change in regards to the discrimination faced by the outcaste groups as well as improving the situation, blame was shifted to the people themselves. A common trait of the Regional Improvement Movement was its structure existing through separate groups, each focusing on their own targets and region. With the establishment of the Great Japan Brotherhood Society (Daiwa Dōshi Kai ), the former Regional Improvement g roups were then unified under the Harmony Ideology (Yūwa ) - an indirect approach surrounding itself on the idea of integration and harmony. BACK TO TOP The Rice Riots “The Rice Riots of 1918 were an important turning point for Burakumin, plunging them into direct action.” ​ -Kiyoteru Tsutsui in his book: Rights Make Might: Global Human Rights and Minority Social Movements in Japan. (2018:159) The two leading factors of the uprising were the inflation caused by the first World War (Cangià 2013:79) giving large amount of rice provision to the troops that were sent by the government to Siberia to stop the Russian Revolution spreading to Japan (KKBM 2018:56) ​ The peaceful protest started by wives of fishermen in Toyama soon became a nation-wide movement. Within 2 months, the numbers of protesters rose to 700,000, demonstrating the unhappiness of the current economical situation. Within the 700,000, burakumin from 116 cities and villages in 22 prefectures participated in the riots. The reasons why so many burakumin were participating in the rice riots were their poverty and subsequently inability to buy rice. The emancipation edict took the monopolised position of the outcaste groups in certain occupations which then were opened to anyone. Coupled with the loss of rights such as tax exemptions, the now burakumin were put in dire poverty and experienced harsh discrimination (KKBM 2018:56). Out of the 8000 people that were prosecuted, more than 10% were burakumin (KKBM 2018:56). “In one area of Mie Prefecture, only Buraku people were arrested, while in another area of Wakayama Prefecture, two people sentenced to death were both from the Buraku community.” (KKBM 2018:56). “This had a strong influence on the emergence of various social movements concerned with the discrimination and exploitation of the poor classes. Up to that time, most of the political activism considered self-improvement to be a solution to the buraku question and explained discrimination as a result of the lower standards of the buraku that only the Burakumin were able to solve. After the riots, however, this attitude changed and the government was finally urged to take responsibility for the improvement of social and economics conditions of buraku.” (Cangià 2013:79) The media influenced those actions, as it was reported that the burakumin were the instigators of the rice – a result of the prejudice that led to the worsening of the stigma (KKBM 2018:56). ​ Because of the massive riots, the government decided to allocate budget to buraku improvement projects in 1920 but had barely any effect (KKBM 2018:57). ​“Buraku groups played a large role in the riots, and the experience strongly affected the way people concerned with the issue interpreted the “buraku question.” (Cangià 2013:79) BACK TO TOP Harmony and Liberation "The two organizations were different as night and day" - Christopher Bondy in his book: Voice, Silence, Self: Negotiations of Buraku Identity in Contemporary Japan (2015:23) After the establishment of the National Levelers Society in 1922, the representation of the burakumin was shared between the Liberation and the Harmony Movement. We explore what made them so different as "night and day". Harmony Movement The Harmony Movement (Yūwa Undō ) was government-funded and would find a greater importance after the rice riots and the subsequent establishment of the Suiheisha as a counterforce against the rise of the Kaihō Movement. In 1920, the government would introduce the first budget for yūwa policies. avoided raising awareness of the buraku issue responsibilities of the discrimination is on the burakumin themselves Liberation Movement The groups of the Liberation Movement (Kaihō Undō ) were dissatisfied with a lack of proper approach towards a solution of the buraku discrimination and the living situation of burakumin . The Suiheisha (being the largest and only representative group) advocated for a direct path to the issue. confronting discriminators through denounciation sessions promotion of a positive burakumin identity After the beginning of the second World War in 1939, both movements would see immense changes. The Levelers Society was disbanded in 1942 while the various groups under the Harmony ideology were unified to the Public Duty Association for Dōwa (Dōwa Hōkōkai ), thus marking the name shift from Harmony (yūwa ) to Assimilation (dōwa ). BACK TO TOP The end of World War II - The resurgence of the buraku movements Soon after the end of the second World War, buraku activists returned to their previous endeavours. In 1947, the National Committee for Buraku Liberation (NCBL Buraku Kaihō Zenkoku Iinkai ) was established which in 1955 changed its name to the Buraku Liberation League (BLL - Buraku Kaihō Dōmei ). In 1960, those who favoured the Harmony/Assimilation approach then left the organization to form the All Japan Assimilation Association (Zen Nihon Dōwa Kai ). This group would later see itself in various scandals and ideological clashes which ended to a split within the Assimilation movement with the establishment of the National Liberal Assimilation Association (Zenkoku Jiyū Dōwa Kai ) in 1986. The BLL would see the same fate as the members of the Left-Wing Faction within the organization end up establishing their own - the National United Buraku Liberation Movement Association (Zenkairen - Zenkoku Buraku Kaihō Undō Rengō Kai ) in 1976. BACK TO TOP The Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects 1969-2002 In 1960, the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies (Dōwa Taisaku Shingikai ) (which was changed to the Joint Council for Dōwa Policies (Dōwa Taisaku Kyōgikai )) was created. The council conducted two surveys summarising the results into the Report by the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Measures (dōwa taisaku shingikai tōshin ) in 1965. Aside from the statistical data and investigating the history of the buraku issue up until that point, the report further lists measures that are required towards the solution. This would provide the basis for the Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects (SML - dōwa taisaku jigyō tokubetsu sochi hō ) from 1969 and the subsequent laws afterwards. Careful! ​ The target of the SML policies were not all buraku areas but were defined as designated areas or dōwa areas. Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects 1969-1982 ​ Special Measures Law for Regional Improvements 1982-1987 ​ Law on Special Measures under the National Fund for specific projects of Regional Reform 1987-2002 During the 33 years of the SML, the infrastructure of the dōwa areas and the living situation including social welfare, education, occupation, etc. were improved. BACK TO TOP 2016: The Act for the Promotion of the Elimination of the Buraku Discrimination Although the Special Measures Laws contributed to the improvement to the living situation for many burakumin , the discrimination against was never "solved". Facing contemporary ways in which discrimination, hate speech and stigmatization can spread in the form of the internet and other means, this law uses that background as its basis (seen in article 1). In 2015, the demand for a law that would approach the before-mentioned issue began on the 16th December 2016, the Act for the Promotion of the Elimination of the Buraku Discrimination (APEBD) was enacted. ​ Unlike the SML, the APEBD does not clarify any financial support or infrastructural policies but works towards the solution of the buraku discrimination. It is open to interpretation as to how much this law can offer towards this goal but the fact that it refers directly to the term buraku and that it acknowledges contemporary forms of the buraku issue is nonetheless a step forward. BACK TO TOP Bibliography Note: I was struggling how to implement the bibliography for the history but I go for this style. References will be added step by step. My apologies for this! Edo Period and the Class System: ​ Meiji Restauration and the Emancipation Edict ​ Improvement Policies – Kaizen and Yūwa ​ Rice Riots Cangià, Flavia. 2013. Performing the Buraku: Narratives on Cultures and Everyday Life in Contemporary Japan. 1st ed. Münster: LIT Verlag. KKBM = ‘Kore kara no buraku mondai’ gakushū puroguramu sakusei kenkyū kai. 2018. Hajimete miyō! Korekara no buraku mondai gakushū: shōgakkō, chūgakkō, kōkō no purogramu [Let’s start! The buraku issue from now on: Program of elementary, middle and high school]. 1st ed. edited by Hyōgo buraku kaihō jinken kenkyūjo. Ōsaka: Kaihō shuppansha. ​ Yūwa and Kaihō ​ The End of World War II - The Resurgence of the Buraku Movements ​ The Special Measures Law for Dōwa Projects ​ 2016: The Act for the Promotion of the Elimination of the Buraku Discrimination BACK TO TOP

  • Buraku-pedia | Buraku Stories

    Buraku -pedia A brief history of the buraku issue Start Here Laws related to the buraku issue Start Here The buraku social movement organizations Start Here Additional Information Incidents Start Here

  • Buraku Literature | Buraku Stories

    Buraku Literature Filter by Title Filter by Year Filter through Categories Article Book English Japanese Filter through Tags APEBD Ainu Buraku Culture Discrimination Dōwa Dōwa Area Dōwa Education Dōwa Laws Dōwa Policies Education History Identity Incidents Internet Korean Language Laws Literature Osaka People Policies Prewar Sayama Incident Social Movements Surveys Tokyo Wartime Women Youth 部落差別の謎を解く 川元祥一 2012 2nd ed. 東京: 株式会社にんげん出版. An Introduction to the Buraku Issue: Questions and Answers Kitaguchi, Suehiro 1999 Osaka: Japan Library. Burakumin - a Japanese marginal group: Japan's hidden people fight to gain equality Samel, Swapna 2009 Proceedings of the Indian History Congress 70:785–94. Educational Demands and Institutional Response: Dōwa Education in Japan Hawkins, John N. 1983 Comparative Education Review 27(2):204–26. Introduction of the System of “Mieruka” in Social Disadvantaged Area: The Case of Community and Livelihood Support in Local City INADA Nanami, WAKAMATSU Tsukasa, HOURAI Rino, and MIZUUCHI Toshio 2008 ABSTRACTS of the Annual Meeting, The Human Geographical Society of Japan 2008(0):406–406. Japan’s Modernization and Discrimination: What Are Buraku and Burakumin? Kobayakawa, Akira 2020 Critical Sociology 47:111–32. Affirmative Action Policies Under the Postwar Japanese Constitution: On the Effects of the Dōwa Special Measures Policy McCormack, Noah 2018 The Asia-Pacific Journal 16(5 Nr4). Buraku Invisibility and Policy Making Yano, Ryo 2019 Journal of Welfare Sociology 16(0):33–53. Conflicting Japanese Interpretations of the Outcaste Problem“(Buraku Mondai)” Ruyle, Eugene E. 1979 American Ethnologist 6(1):55–72. Grass-Roots ‘Multiculturalism’: Korean-Burakumin Interrelations in One Community Bayliss, Jeffrey P. 2001 Asian Cultural Studies 27(March). Japanese Politics of Equality in Transition: The Case of the Burakumin Hah, Chong-do, and Christopher C. Lapp 1978 Asian Survey 18(5):487–504. Japan’s Outcaste Abolition: The Struggle for National Inclusion and the Making of the Modern State McCormack, Noah 2013 Oxon, Abingdon, Milton Park: Routledge.

  • The Buraku Issue | Buraku Stories

    "They are ethnically Japanese, speak Japanese, follow the similar religious and cultural practices as other Japanese, and thereby ought not to be considered a separate ethnic group. The question that invariably follows, then, is this: How do people know who is or is not burakumin." ​ - Christopher Bondy in his book: Voice, Silence, Self: Negotiations of Buraku Identity in Contemporary Japan (2015:15) What is buraku ? ​Buraku means “village” or “hamlet” and is a common used word referring to someone's residence. However, the buraku issue is based on the locations called tokushu buraku (special hamlets). The use of tokushu buraku emphasized on their “differences” to the “normal” villages. The term towards the outcaste groups was changed to buraku/burakumin removing the negative connotation the word tokushu created. Nowadays, we call the location either buraku or hisabetsu buraku (discriminated against hamlets). Careful! The term tokushu buraku is a derogatory term and should only be used for the historical narrative. Who are the burakumin ? The term burakumin refers to people who are descendants of outcaste groups created by the feudal class system during the Edo period working in "unclean" occupation such as butchers living in a hisabetsu buraku ​The term burakumin refers often to the descendants of eta , hinin and other outcaste classes, but it consists all different groups of people who were and are living in the buraku . Like the term hisabetsu buraku , we either call the people burakumin or the hisabetsu burakumin . ​ "Unclean" refers to the japanese word of kegare . We explain that here . The three mentioned references were commonly used and are now obsolete. We discuss that here. Where are the burakumin and how many are there? Unless someone tells you that they are burakumin , no one can know. This coupled with the discrimination and stigma the term buraku bears restricts their freedom. Additionally, many aren't even aware that they are descendants of burakumin /former outcaste group. All this creates an unclear picture of the number of burakumin currently residing in Japan but the number is estimated in between 1.5 to 3 million. There are buraku areas throughout Japan except in Okinawa and in Hokkaido and most are in western Japan. What is the buraku issue? The buraku issue (jap. buraku mondai ) refers to the discrimination the burakumin suffer. The stigma of the buraku denies them the chances of occupation or marriage. Often described as a historical issue, it is however still existent in current Japan.

  • Kegare | Buraku Stories

    The concept of impurity (kegare) Kegare (pollution / impurity) is the pollution resulting from negative occurrences including the following: Death of a person or an animal Birth, menstrual periods, pregnancy Catastrophes (Kobayashi 2016:142) By proximity or touching “pollution” (shokue ) and the consequence of becoming such, people believed that kegare is contagious and stayed away from “polluted” people and areas (Kobayashi 2016:142). burakumin and impurity Before the outcaste groups eta , hinin , and other became institutionalized through the class system in the Tokugawa Shogunate (Edo period), there were various other similar instances of marginalized groups through the concept of impurity. All the various cases throughout history that were marginalized and discriminated through the concept of impurity occupied work that related to the afore-mentioned "reasons". In the case of the eta , their close relation to the work of tanners or removing animal corpses from the streets made them "impure". Vice versa, when someone conducted such work without "being part of the eta group", one could be considered as such In contemporary times, the arbitrary pointing in relation to the impurity exists. Many who work in slaughterhouses or in waste disposal are often seen as burakumin although they are not. Bibliography Kobayashi, Kenji. 2016. Sabetsugo - Fukaigo [Discriminatory Terms - Unpleasant Terms]. 1st ed. Tōkyō: Kabushiki kaisha ningen shuppan.

  • Links | Buraku Stories

    Links Table of Content Social Movement Organizations Other Organizations Research Institutes Communities Other Social Movement Organizations Buraku Liberation League National Liberal Assimilation Association Buraku Heritage ABDARC Other Organisations International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) Research Institutes Kyoto Buraku Issue Research Resource Center Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute Buraku Issue Research Institute Communities Yata Machizukuri Committee for the Respect of Human Rights Other Liberty Osaka (Osaka Human Rights Museum) Suiheisha History Museum

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